Australian red meat now fully traceable across supply chain

Wednesday, 06 January, 2021

Australian red meat now fully traceable across supply chain

Independent regulator Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) has partnered with Oritain to develop ‘origin fingerprints’ for Australian beef and lamb.

Upon completion, the Australian red meat industry and its stakeholders will be able to scientifically verify and authenticate Australian beef and lamb products from anywhere in global supply chains.

In today’s fragmented, global supply chains, consumer demand for authenticity and transparency is rising — as is food fraud.

Australian red meat is a $28.5 billion industry with $17.2 billion in export receipts.

Such scale exposes Australian exports to the international food fraud trade, currently estimated to cost the global food industry $64 billion per year.

The Australian red meat industry and its reputation for quality and safety is not immune to this exposure and risk — substitution and product misrepresentation impacts all stakeholders in one way or another.

Australia’s beef and lamb exports represent a significant percentage of the Australian food and agricultural sector exporting to more than 100 countries. MLA said much of that success is owed to the reputation afforded by our food safety, quality and brand ‘Australia’.

“Protecting consumer trust is, therefore, paramount for the continued success of the Australian red meat industry,” the company said.

Ian Jenson, MLA Program Manager Market Access Science & Technology, said Oritain is a global leader in scientifically verifying the origin of foods to both protect and enhance reputations.

“Oritain initiated this project through the MLA Donor Company so they could rigorously demonstrate the power of their technology. In the final stage, blind samples from around Australia, and from numerous other countries, were successfully tested,” Jenson said.

“The system is suitable to assure exporters that their product has arrived on the supermarket shelf, or whether substitution is likely. This is a significant tool for detecting and preventing substitution.”

Oritain’s technology analyses the actual product itself, tracing it back to its true origin using forensic science and data analysis. It then creates ‘origin fingerprints’ to verify products back to their claimed origin from any point in the supply chain.

Sandon Adams, Managing Director of Oritain Australia, said the company measures a product’s innate ‘origin fingerprint’ by unlocking the natural code it absorbs from the environment in which it’s been produced.

“By testing the actual product, itself, and not relying on the packaging, barcodes and paper trails, supply chain participants can be sure that what they are purchasing is what they believe it to be,” he said.

“Through our work with MLA, we will verify the origin of all beef and lamb produce claiming to be of Australian origin and, therefore, protect the quality consumers look for in Australian produce.”

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